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Fitness bike OR Comfort Bike

Old 07-16-18, 08:14 PM
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Mandoman
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Fitness bike OR Comfort Bike

My wife and I are both early 60's. Want to get back into riding and trying to decide if we want fitness bikes OR comfort bikes. We would mainly be riding on paved surfaces. The idea is to get some exercise and lose some weight. We see cycling as preferred alternative to walking. Will start out maybe 20-35 minute rides and try to work up to an hour or more. Don't really intend to push ourselves hard. Don't want to buy a comfort bike and then later decide it is not appropriate for a 15 mile ride OR don't want to buy a fitness bike and be uncomfortable. One local shop advised that fitness bike or flat bar road bike with wider tires would be recommended. They felt that the comfort bike is really only appropriate for short rides and not for a 15 mile ride or more than an hour riding. THOUGHTS, OPINIONS ??
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Old 07-16-18, 08:45 PM
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cheap shocks on comfort bikes is blah! and a waste.

rigid fork and plus sized tires is king!

IMO the best bike out there that mixes the two really well is the trek, Verve. super comfy, super stable at very slow speeds, and good enough to clip along at 15+ mph on the flats. or however hard you wish to push it.

go test ride one, see what you think.
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Old 07-16-18, 11:59 PM
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GerryinHouston
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Cycling is an evolutionary process. When you start, you do shorter distances, you want to ride upright, you want a large saddle, you may want a front fork with shocks. That's what I wanted when I bought my Trek Verve.

A year later, I was riding routinely 12-20 mi. and my comfort bike became ...uncomfortable! Changed the saddle (twice, a Serfas Rx and as the distances grew longer a Brook B17).

Hand numbing in longer distances led me to my drop bar, touring/endurance bike (Novara Randonee) which I enjoy immensely.

I firmly believe that had I not gone the comfort route, I wouldn't have stuck with biking. YMMV.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mandoman View Post
One local shop advised that fitness bike or flat bar road bike with wider tires would be recommended.
I like that the shop mentioned wider tires. Not only do you get some bump-absorption, but you also get increased stability and confidence in the turns.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:32 AM
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You'll need to try them to see which one feels more comfortable. So many of the fitness bikes have a pretty aggressive geometry. I can almost guarantee you that your wife is going to vastly prefer a comfort bike. You are going to have to demo them.
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Old 07-17-18, 05:41 AM
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Just because you are comfortable does NOT mean you are not getting fit. Check out recumbents and trikes.
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Old 07-17-18, 09:19 AM
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I like my folding bike..

advantage; you can easily put 2 in the car boot and drive

to a pleasant place to ride the bikes.
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Old 07-17-18, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. I did not mention . . . When we were younger (20 years ago) we had road bikes. My wife had a Terry Despatch road bike with the smaller front wheel. I had a Trek 330 road bike. We were doing 12-15 miles routinely with a 20-30 ride every couple months. So we are both familiar with drop handle bikes. But that was a long time ago. I guess the real answer will be determined by how much our distances evolve as we get more seat time. Will be sure to check out the Trek Verve. I have a truck - so folding bike is not needed.
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Old 07-17-18, 10:18 AM
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If you're formerly used to riding, I doubt a "comfort" bike will satisfy you for very long.
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Old 07-17-18, 11:47 AM
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I'm curious, what the difference is to you?

I don't think theres a wrong or right answer, there's just so much marketing spin these days its hard to say sometimes what someone means by a fitness hybrid or comfort hybrid.
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Old 07-17-18, 12:22 PM
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For a good fitness hybrid, try the Trek FX line--it's a bit closer to a road bike in position, and generally a lot of fun. I'm 57, and I have ridden my FX 3 as far as 168 miles in one day, but it's also a comfortable bike for slow leisurely riding as well. I can get the thing up to 24 MPH in the flat, so basically, whichever way you end up fgoing it should work. A lot of people hate the stock seat, but I find it ok, but needing to replace it should probably not be a deal breaker because that's a really high probability for any new bike.
I believe it can take a 38 mm tire.

I have done a few solo centuries on a comfort bike. While I don't recommend that, going 15 miles or so on such a bike isn't bad at all. I tend to think the suspension adds more problems than benefits, it generally doesn't really add to comfort, and it's more moving parts that break.

If you're planning on putting the bikes on the back of the car, a pair of comfort bikes could be a real pain.
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Old 07-17-18, 06:10 PM
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Comfort bikes are still fitness bikes! There's more to cycling than calories and cadence, you want to enjoy yourself, not hammer your hips and knees, break your back, crank your neck and get to know the floor.. sit up and see the world! Light bikes with fat tyres, raised bars and comfy seats are gonna make riding enjoyable. And that's healthy.

I like the Electra Townie Flatfoot. You sit upright, and can pedal straight-legged for efficiency - yet you can still stand on the ground whilst seated! And having the crank forwards also works your arms as well as your legs. There's nothing not to like.
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Old 07-17-18, 07:37 PM
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"...verrry interesting..."
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Old 07-17-18, 07:55 PM
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My wife and I are in our early 60s and went with the trek ds3 and neko 3. We ride mostly on packed gravel trails and sometimes on paved trails. The wider tires work great on the non paved trails and are fine on the pavement. We like the front suspension too. The trek fx is another one to look at . . . A bit narrower tire without the suspension. We like the straight handlebars.
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Old 07-19-18, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Mandoman View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I did not mention . . . When we were younger (20 years ago) we had road bikes. My wife had a Terry Despatch road bike with the smaller front wheel. I had a Trek 330 road bike. We were doing 12-15 miles routinely with a 20-30 ride every couple months. So we are both familiar with drop handle bikes. But that was a long time ago. I guess the real answer will be determined by how much our distances evolve as we get more seat time. Will be sure to check out the Trek Verve. I have a truck - so folding bike is not needed.
Bike companies seem to be coming out with some bikes that can be like Swiss Army knives and fit multiple needs of different riders or even the same rider. Two of my favorite efforts in this regard are the Breezer Adventure Series (both Radar and Doppler) and the Jamis Renegade.
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